ARIZONA, Sept. 4, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — A returned LDS missionary who has accused Joseph Bishop, the former president of the Provo Missionary Training Center, of raping her in the mid 1980s, on Sunday took to the pulpit of his Arizona ward to talk about her charges.
McKenna Denson stood up in the monthly fast and testimony meeting of the home ward of Bishop and his son.
“The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is covering (for) a sexual predator who lives in your ward, his name is Joseph Bishop,” Denson can be heard saying after a brief and innocuous introduction. “He was the MTC president in 1984 when he raped me in the basement.”
On the video, a man in short sleeves can be seen walking from the audience to the front, and talking to two suited men seated behind the pulpit.
One of two suited men advised by the short-sleeved audience member — who was later revealed to be Bishop’s son — approached Denson, stood at her left side, and tried to guide her away, saying they would talk elsewhere. When she declined to leave or stop talking, a second suited church official stood up and tried to remove her from her right side.
Denson attempted to address the congregation about the importance of atonement, and the men touched her arms on each side.
“Call the police. Don’t touch me. You’re assaulting me,” she said, unwilling to give up the podium. “In order to keep the Church safe, we need to hold sexual predators accountable, whether they are … pedophiles or whether they are rapists like Joseph Bishop,” Denson says to the audience.
“You know this is assault, right, and you know we are filming this, right?” she adds, as she allows herself to be led away.
The video was posted online by a YouTube page called NewNameNoah, which describes its offerings as “A series of videos made with hidden cameras inside Mormon temples. These are made to expose the TRUTH about what goes on inside Mormon temples around the world. Until now, no non-Mormon has ever seen what these videos contain.”
A second shaky video on the page picked up action outside the church building, with Densen being led out.
“Your dad raped me at the MTC,” Denson can be heard saying on the video.
“Yeah, right,” Bishop’s son says as he walks back toward the building.
“Well, listen to the audio,” Denson calls after him.
Last month, a federal judge dismissed all claims in her lawsuit except one, a fraud allegation the accuses the LDS Church of placing Bishop in a position of trust at the MTC despite knowing he had been accused of misconduct in the past.
LDS Church spokesman Eric Hawkins released a statement regarding Denson’s behavior:
“Once each month, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints participate in a worship service that includes an opportunity for members to share their testimonies of the Savior, Jesus Christ, and His gospel.
“It is disappointing that anyone would interrupt such a worship service to bring attention to their own personal cause. Recording and posting of these disruptions on social media to seek public attention and media coverage, sadly, shows an unfortunate lack of respect for others. We respectfully request that those with personal grievances find other means to communicate their messages than disrupting the sanctity of a worship service.”